The Benefits of Being a Selfish Mom

26
May
2014

Benefits-Selfish-Mom

Do you know your family is likely begging you to be more selfish?  Perhaps that seems a little far-fetched, but I do think it is true.

This thought came into my head last week as I was out for a 7 mile run, something that takes me a bit of time I will add!  This is usually a 2 hour commitment for me, with preparing to run, running, cooling down and showering, etc.  But you know what?  

I feel so much better when I give myself this gift, and I know I am much better with my family.

Perhaps even thinking of it as a gift may be wrong thinking.  It is a necessity.

So it has me thinking how often we moms make excuses that we don’t have time or can’t make the time to care for our own “seemingly selfish needs.”  I wrote a post a few weeks back on Not Being a Martyr Mom and I think this term Martyr comes into play in the same manner when it comes to caring for our own needs.  We like to kinda throw the “woe is me” card – or perhaps that it just me?

I have a choice each day, I can either play the victim and not take my needs seriously or I can be proactive and take charge of my time, my tasks and make the time to care for my needs.

What needs am I talking about?  The list is really endless, but for me it would entail – caring for my body in a physical way (running, strength training, a relaxing bath, pedicure, yoga, walks) caring for my spirit (daily quiet time, prayer, real quiet time with no noise and no “to-do” list, appreciating my blessings, journaling, writing).  That’s a start.

But I also know that depending on the season of motherhood it can be hard to get time, but it is oh, so important for you to do that.  When you do, do you know what happens?  Let me share with you what I know it does for me. 

Rested

I feel more rested and better about myself when I can take the time to care for my needs.  We sacrifice a lot – by choice, don’t get me wrong – motherhood is good, believe me, but it is OK to care for our needs too.  We do not always have to give, give, give and give more.  You are not created to run on fumes, so refueling our bodies is really necessary.

Connected

I find myself feeling refreshed and able to connect with my entire family more often when my needs are met.  I am more engaged in activities rather than trying to carve out any bit of silence and alone time, especially since I am an introvert.  I am happy to plan activities to share together – I am just plain more fun!  My entire family likes this, so came my question, “Do you know your family is begging you to be a selfish mom?”  They want you completely present, refreshed and energized, rather than just “there”.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Priorities

You can get to a place where you learn to prioritize better, that is what I have found.  I know that things will run smoother when I take the hour to get some exercise or get up an hour early so I can sit quietly and read.  I know my body and I know what it needs.  I can then use those same principles to look at other areas in my life and manage them as well, whether tasks, time with my husband or writing obligations.  It is a balancing act and learning how to care for our needs is important.

Happy Mom = Happy Family

Honestly, the bottom line for me is, I know I am much more pleasant to be around when I step up to the plate and take care of myself.  When my body feels good, my spirit is fresh – I am much better able to handle those curve balls that come into play – you know exactly the ones I mean.

So what can you do today to gov yourself a break and be selfish?  I am sure your family will actually thank you for it! 

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  • Jennie

    Saying No, That’s what it takes for me to be selfish. Just today, my kids wanted to go to the pool. I knew that if we went, I’d be grumpy and tired and not much fun so I had to say no. “I” need to be home today. This week will run so much smoother if I stay home and get “my” stuff done.

    Thanks for this post.

  • yep, add that to the list – we do need to say no at times when we know the outcome will far outweigh the benefit!!! Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  • Dee

    You’re so right! Mom’s want to do their best for their families. Unfortunately when they give too much, too long they have nothing left of their best to give. And nobody wants anyone’s worst!

  • Dee, you are right on the money – I know and realize from my own personal experience that I can give and give and them I am just crabby. But when I realize I have needs too, then it is just better for everyone! You are so right, nobody wants anyone’s worst!

  • mrs.H

    seriously? how is this even biblical? I am all for taking care of yourself as we are God’s temple but we need the right motives. Encouraging moms to be selfish? like we don’t hear enough of that other places- We are called to give, the Lord will give us what we need to be refreshed when we rest in Him. I would encourage you to use your “selfish” time reading The Word.

  • I agree, we are called to give, care for and nurture our families. You said it exactly in the last section of your comment “We need to be refreshed by rating in Him”. Many moms cannot even gather the notion that finding the time to be quiet with the Lord is do-able. I was giving encouragement for caring of four needs as well as for our family. I know the Lord does not desire us to be run down, crabby and over-stretched – but rather refreshed, in good physical shape and emotionally sound. I believe we are called to finding balance and having biblical priorities. It appears my tongue-in-cheek title on this topic of caring for our needs as moms was taken differently by you and I am sorry for that. Have a wonderful day.

  • beke

    What a great post. That is one thing I think most father’s are better at than moms. It is the best lesson I have learned from my husband. I found in my younger ,earlier mothering days I found myself resenting him for taking time for himself. I wrongly assumed that I couldn’t do the same.
    A year ago I decided that I was going to “rest” on Sundays. Without telling anyone I just began to relax on Sunday. If one of my five boys asked for permission for something I would tell them it was up to dad. I stopped being in charge of what they needed to get done on Sunday, it was up to them or their father.
    I have no idea if any of them have noticed. I feel refreshed though having given myself one whole day of not being in charge. I feel rested and relaxed for the rest of the week.

  • Sabbath rest is something I am being convicted of – I do not step back and take the time I need to be obedient! Thank you for the reminder for me….. it is something I know, but really putting it in action is hard.

  • I tried replying earlier, but somehow it didn’t work. I will try again!

    First, I just want to say how much I enjoy your blog. I am a newer reader, and I find a lot of encouragement here! So, thank you!

    In regards to this post, it came at just the right time. I am struggling right now with finding the right balance of self-care. I know I need it, but it is difficult for me to get just the right amount … And with six young children (my oldest being only 11), it is especially hard. I also am an introvert, so I found your post about being an introvert mom REALLY great!! Anyway, I can tell that if I don’t implement some of this, I will spiral downward really quickly, as I’ve done that before and I can read the signs. So, I have to do something! I just don’t always know what to do to really guarantee a sense of refreshment … Sometimes, it’s just even hard to relax! Am going to try to make a list and determine with my husband WHEN rest/refreshment can happen for me. And I just can’t try and do things during that time, like errands or shopping, which end up stressing me out even more! 🙂

    Thanks again for your encouragement of moms! God bless!

  • I am so glad you found it helpful. I am the same way and like most moms the WORST at taking care of what I need too! Thanks for sharing and leaving a comment.

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